Damen introduces the new Methanol-powered Flow-SV
Dutch shipbuilder Damen has designed a new type of offshore vessel for the installation of floating offshore wind turbines. The Flow-SV is considerably larger than the current generation of anchor handlers in the oil and gas industry.
The 150 metre long and 32 metre wide ship can load the enormous lengths of chain needed to anchor the floating platforms. The current generation of anchor handlers is considerably smaller, 60 to 90 metres, and designed for anchoring floating oil and gas installations. They are not optimally suited for the development of floating wind farms.
Current wind farms are built in relatively shallow water, with turbine foundations driven into the seabed. But to reach energy targets, deep-water locations much further offshore will need to be exploited, requiring floating offshore wind turbines. The Flow-SV is specially equipped for this and can carry up to three anchor installations simultaneously. Per installation, this assumes more than five kilometres of chain, nine 15-tonne anchors and 100 10-tonne weights. All the equipment could be estimated at more than 4,000 tonnes.
The new type of vessel will run on methanol. It is also equipped with a dynamic positioning system and good for a bollard pull of 400 tonnes. With help from the forward anchor winch this is increased to 1,000 tonnes. That’s more than five times more pulling power than the current generation of anchor handlers possess.
All in one
‘With the Flow-SV, we have developed a vessel that handles the entire installation process,’ says Wijtze van der Leij, sales manager at Damen. ‘Then we are talking about the delivery, installation, securing and inspection of ground hoists for floating turbines. This means a big step forward for the large-scale installation of floating wind farms.’
Damen will look for a partner to refine the design and series construction of this type of vessel. To keep up with the current speed of wind farm development, perhaps 100 of these vessels will be needed, according to the shipbuilder.